Tuesday, April 19, 2011

And to think I didn't want to go?

I admit it. The idea of flying to Los Angeles, CA and attending the RT Convention TERRIFIED me.

I don't fly well. Motion sickness and claustrophia make getting me inside an airplane a lot like shoving a cat in a water barrel. I'm also not very good with crowds. Writer = shy + introvert + quiet (squared & multiplied by a thousand). But everyone told me I NEEDED to go. And in my heart - I knew they were right. So with dramimine and barf bags in my carry-on - off I went to RT with Hubby standing right behind me to make sure I didn't bolt.

*Happy Sigh* And now I'm so glad I went. I'll remember those few days for as long as I live. I thought I'd share a few pictures here on the old blog. Some have already been posted on my Facebook page but I thought I'd repeat them here. Yes. I know. But please indulge me. After all, I don't get out very much. ;-) Above you'll see the contestants for Mr. RT 2011 (and me). They were all extremely nice

And here's a picture Stefan Pinto signed for me during the Kensington Mixer on Friday morning. I loved his sense of humor. He was handing out pins that read "Stefan Pinto is my boyfriend" and before my husband realized what Stefan had done - there was a "boyfriend" pin attached to his shirt. Before Stefan put the pin on my husband's collar, he'd whispered to me, "Watch this. It will be very funny." I couldn't help giggling when Hubby asked what the pin said.

I'm proudly displaying my "Kensington Author" ribbon. It all seemed like a wonderful dream. But I've got the ribbon as proof it was real.

I have absolutely no idea what I said after Alicia Condon announced my Writing With the Stars win. I was still tingling from hearing her say that ETERNITY'S MARK would be a Kensington Brava April 2012 release. *Gasp*  When I returned to my seat, I asked Hubby if I said anything stupid. He assured me that I didn't. I also asked him if I'd thanked everyone. He said, "Yep. Everyone except me."  I felt SO bad but by the way he grinned from ear to ear, I knew he realized how much I appreciated and STILL appreciate all his support.

My AWESOME mentor, Rebecca Zanetti. She helped me more than words could ever describe.

Kensington editor Megan Records. SUCH a wonderful person and I wish I had a tenth of her energy.

The rest of the pictures pretty much explain themselves. And I couldn't resist including one of the smartest RTr's of the bunch...especially since I was missing my writing partner, Jasper.

If you EVER get the opportunity to attend an RT Booklover's Convention, don't pass it up. It's like a huge family reunion for true lovers of wonderful tales.

Friday, April 15, 2011

How a heart-breaking revelation gave birth to a touching romance...

I'm delighted to host the talented Mona Risk today. She's written an intriguing post and I won't waste any more of your time with unnecessary intro. I know everyone knows Mona!

Adopting Foreign Babies

If you sort through magazines, you are sure to glimpse a picture of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt and their brood of children, three natural and three adopted from Cambodia, Ethiopia and Vietnam. I know a couple of young doctors who adopted a boy and then a girl from Russia ten years ago. Their children are healthy and fully adapted to the American way.

But I also heard horror stories about children adopted from Russia by delighted couples who later found out their new children were terribly sick, or suffering from AIDS or diabetes.

During one of my business trip to Belarus, I visited my driver’s wife, Oxana, at the hospital after she gave birth to their baby girl, Anastasia. Upon learning that local hospitals couldn’t afford to provide substantial meals to the patients and distributed only soup, bread and sausage for lunch and dinner, I went with the new dad to buy healthy food and vitamins for the new mother. She chose me to be her baby’s godmother.

One day, I was stunned to see her breastfeeding a different baby, and then another. During the week Oxana spent at the hospital after her delivery, the nurses brought her seven different babies to breastfeed. Yes, you read it right. Seven. She explained that these were babies abandoned by their single mothers. My heart broke at the sight of these babies who would soon be sent to overcrowded orphanages and I used that information in my novel.

In my new romance, Rx IN RUSSIAN, my heroine, the American Dr. Jillian, is faced with a terrible dilemma after she helps deliver a baby girl and the mother absconds leaving the baby behind.

Rx IN RUSSIAN is available at TWRP and Amazon in print and ebook.

An American Pediatrician

A Russian Surgeon

A woman who lost a son and her illusions about marriage and family.

A man with four adorable sons who badly need a mother

Can attraction and love overcome guilt, duty, and a clash of cultures?

 “Mona Risk writes heroes with heart, heroines with spunk in stories and settings that are simply unforgettable!" -- Roxanne St. Claire, Killer Curves, National Bestseller.


“Single mothers abandon their babies every day in Belarus.” The nurse raised her hand in a fatalistic gesture. “Last month, seven women delivered and ran away the next day leaving their newborns behind. A sad situation. Very frequent here. You will get used to it, Dr. Burton,” Olga said with a sigh.

“No, I won’t.” With a tremendous effort, Jillian controlled the quivering of her lips. A mother abandoning her child? Jillian strove to grapple with the situation, but a wave of bitterness welled in her heart. She would give anything to have her son back. In Haiti she’d forced herself to toughen up and remain neutral every time the Red Cross sent an abandoned baby to a shelter.

“What are you going to do?” Jillian asked Fyodor, who’d remained unusually quiet, his arms crossed, a piece of paper crumpled in his fist.

“Incredible.” His gaze flitted from the newborn to Jillian. He was upset, all right, but she couldn’t read his thoughts.

“Yes, it’s sad. Abandoning her infant to fate.”

“There is more.” Fyodor flapped the paper and cursed with barely restrained anger.

“What? I hope she didn’t leave a suicide note?” Bile rose in Jillian’s throat.

“No. She says she is giving you her daughter.” He scowled at the piece of paper scribbled with the plea he’d just translated.

“Excuse me?” Jillian squinted, sure she’d heard him wrong.

“That is what she has written here.” Fyodor waved the paper. “Dr. Burton. Natasha yours. Take to America.” Although he read slowly, pronouncing every syllable, the words refused to sink into Jillian’s befuddled mind.

Do you know couples who have adopted foreign babies? How are the parents and adopted children fairing?

If you like to travel and love to read, come and enjoy my international romances. I will take you around the world through stories that simmer with emotion and sizzle with passion.

BABIES IN THE BARGAIN winner of 2009 Best Romance Novel at Preditors & Editors and winner of 2009 Best Contemporary Romance at Readers Favorite.

Rx FOR TRUST, winner of 2010 Best Contemporary Romance at Readers Favorite and 2011 EPICON.

Rx IN RUSSIAN just released by TWRP

Learn more about Mona here:


Saturday, April 2, 2011

Warm Weather Wars

The exploding blossoms of the crabapple trees lace the warm spring breeze with a soft floral sweetness. Butterflies can't resist the delicious temptation waiting at the center of the flowers.

But don't let this soothing, birdsong-filled scenery fool you.  Don't let the tinkling sound of the wind-chimes lull you into a relaxed complacency. With Spring, with the first greening of the leaves, the warm weather wars begin.

Jasper knows it's time to track those irritating varmints.  He's watched them from his perch on the back of the couch through the winter-frosted window.  They're the ones who've hidden in the shed all winter long, teasing him when they skittered into unreachable corners behind the barrels and tools. The wood flooring reaks of their furry little bodies. He snuffled their tracks until he shook with the cold, grumbling with frustration when finally forced to abandon the chase and return to the warmth of the house.  He knew the enemy lurked in the shadows, snickering as he stomped out the door.

They've moved to the woodpile, tempted by the birdseed and corn scattered for all to enjoy.  He's forced one to dart into a rotted log of the wood.

The evil beast took refuge atop the woodpile and chittered victory from his safe perch among the logs. But Jasper is a seasoned warrior and didn't give up without scoring a final hit in this battle.  While keeping his gaze fixed on the squirrel, he sauntered over to the low-slung watering trough, hiked his leg and "spiked" the enemies drinking water. Let the warm weather games begin!